For years of my life, I struggled with isolation and with locking my heart away from people. I fabricated this intrinsic fortress around me. I did not want people to see my brokenness, my shame, my guilt… my sin. After all, we are to guard our heart… right? There was absolutely no way people would see the deepest hurts of me. The parts that we all keep locked up inside that no one knows about. The parts that you are questioning if I am talking about right now. Yes, those parts of you.
Pain screams in all of our lives, yet we flee as a gazelle aimlessly attempts to scurry away from its haunting prey. One of my best friends sent me a youtube video from Davey Blackburn last night about pain and forgiveness (Check out the video here, it’s worth it). He talked about this illustration of how lion’s hunt. The male lion will go to one side of a watering hole while the female lions will go to the opposite side. The male will let out an extremely loud roar to scare the prey. Let’s say a gazelle. The gazelle hears the roar and is frightened leading it to flee to the opposite direction of the roar. Meanwhile, the pack of female lions are awaiting in an ambush to attack the gazelle while it frantically flees from its fear to face the roar.
For so long, I ran from my past. I ran from my pain. Why? Because it would hurt too much to endure. I refused to go through it and face it. I ran, yet it always led to more pain and more hurt in my life. It always came back. Running away never fixes the problem. It simply prolongs and even worsens the pain.
Blackburn challenged me to begin facing my fears. The solution is simple, yet courageous. Running is easy. The healing to your pain is to run towards the roar. Composure allays great offenses. Face your pain. Do not stay silent; talk about it. Invite others into your life and allow them to speak into your pain. We are called to live in community with one another. We are called to carry one another’s burdens… So why are we not talking about our pain. We are scared we may damage our reputations. We are scared we might lose our friends. And we are scared our life will get worse. So we choose to stay silent….
Do not stay silent.
As I mentioned in the beginning, I chose isolation for so many years. I kept my brokenness hidden in secrecy. I’ve come to realize that our sin and pain thrives in isolation. It actually enhances it and makes it worse than it really is.
But, when we choose to talk about our pain and confess our sins to one another in a righteous community…
- We steal Satan’s weapons. His arsenal is dismantled.
- We gain true, authentic relationships and friends.
- We are free from our shackles. The weight of our burdens are lifted.
Through years of fighting my pain and seeing and partaking in others pain, I have learned this… We do not get to choose what cross we carry. We get to choose if we carry the cross we are given.
“Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.” – 1 Peter 5:8-9
Pain is a part of everyone’s lives; it’s inevitable. The lion is going to roar. We must choose to run towards the roar. We must face our pain. We must talk about our pain.
It is crazy how many friends I have gained just from beginning to talk about my pain. It is crazy that by doing so, I get the opportunity to hear their pain and even speak into their lives as well. We get to walk with one another and fight our pains together. And it is SOOO much easier and uplifting.
Pain provides us with opportunity to live in community and become more of who we actually are. It gives us a bigger platform to speak on. We all have built up walls that guard our heart. But, I would encourage you to die to your self and pick up your cross (Mathew 16:24-25). Your cross is given to you by God and it is a gift we get to use to give God glory. We need to stop hiding from it and tucking it deep down inside us where no one can see or hear it. Our stories are opportunities for people to hear the Gospel… for people to see Hope again. Choose to pick up the cross God has given you and start carrying it. Talk about the hard things.
And remember, You cannot let God down, because you were never holding Him up. God wants you to share your story.